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DELIVERING IN DOOMADGEE: Johnathan Thurston encourages young women to ‘lead like a girl’ with forward-thinking new program

Published on 27 Oct 2021

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Young women across Australia, including some of the most remote communities, will now be able to connect and be empowered by their peers across the nation thanks to an innovative new program delivered by the Johnathan Thurston Academy.

Next Tuesday (October 26, 2021), Johnathan Thurston, the Managing Director of the JT Academy, will visit Doomadgee with his team to officially launch the inspiring JTLeadLikeAGirl program. nbn will also join JT in community, after again working together to ensure the community can stay connected through online platforms, with plans to embark on an exciting, wider partnership over the next two years.

The national program will see young women join weekly online and regular in person workshops, mentoring programs and take part in online conversations with an impressive portfolio of young role models.

The young women in Doomadgee will be able to stay connected thanks to the team at nbn facilitating the installation of a Community Wi-fi satellite system on the local PCYC.  The Academy will also work with nbn on plans to expand the program and satellite installations into more than 50 other communities, with further announcements to come. This follows the inspiring ‘one team’ mission to connect communities in the middle of the COVID lockdown in 2020 in Thursday Island, Kowanyama and Yarrabah via nbn™ satellite connectivity.

Johnathan said nbn’s support has been incredibly important as the country continues to feel the impacts of COVID, at a time when taking their programs online to keep the conversation going is critical.

“We are so proud to be launching our JTLeadLikeAGirl program,” Johnathan said. “Our vision is to live in a world where women can live fearlessly and unapologetically.  We are working towards that dream by empowering one, young Australian woman at a time.

“To help make this happen we need to empower, connect and build confidence so they can truly lead like a girl. That’s why our JTLeadLikeAGirl program supports young women with self-belief and courage to reach their full potential.

“The program has one sole focus: to inspire young women to be confident, bold, and goal-oriented, but most importantly—to be kind and shine a positive light on each other,” he said.

“We couldn’t do this without the incredible level of connection and digital capability that nbn has provided through facilitating systems in each of the communities we work in and we’re excited to work with them to see how we can take the program into more communities, nationally.

The team at JT Academy was visiting Doomadgee as part of its Youth Intervention Program, funded by the Queensland Police Service. Before any visit, the team speaks with the local community to ensure the program connects and has a legacy afterwards. It was during these conversations the need for a program tailored at young women was put forward.

Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council’s Chief Executive Officer Troy Fraser applauded the JT Academy, as well as nbn for facilitating the installation of a system at their PCYC so their community could be further connected with innovative programs like JTLeadLikeAGirl.

“The JTLeadLIkeAGirl program is to be commended,” Troy said. “To have that ongoing connection with their peers and the Academy is so important and that regular connection in empowering them to make the right choices and be around positive and powerful role models. Access to this and keeping them online is wonderful.

“Thank you to the Academy and nbn for making this happen.”

nbn’s Head of Indigenous Affairs Che Cockatoo-Collins said they were excited to join the Academy in Doomadgee to engage, listen to the community and put their heads together on bigger projects.

“We know how much of a difference connectivity can make, the social and economic benefits are huge and lifechanging. We are thrilled to be able to build on our partnership that we’ve already established with JT and his team, and are excited to grow this, watch this space” Che said.

“Ensuring the young women can stay connected and that their engagement with the Academy remains is incredibly important.

“We take our hat off to the team for always being ahead of the curve and delivering such practical and forward-thinking programs like JTLeadLikeAGirl.”

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